Friday, January 20, 2012

G1X User Guide Notes

G1X User guide cover pageWhile waiting for my G1X (pre-ordered), I’m reading its instruction manual and making note of similarities and differences that appear useful or interesting as compared to the G12. Many of these similarities and differences are summarized in a previously posted comparison chart. Based on product announcements and previews, it appears that operation of the G1X will  very similar to the G12. These notes may appear to be random but are being added while reading from the beginning of the 244 page G1X manual.

Control Dial. As has been reported, one major difference between the G12 and G1X is that ISO selection has been moved from a dedicated dial on the top of the camera to the “up” section of the Control Dial on the back of the camera. I’m curious but hopeful about how this relocation will work out. Manual focus has been shifted to the left section of the Control Dial.

Cap and Strap. The G1X comes with a removable lens cap and string to attach it to the camera – looks to be an improvement over the G3 removable cap. Instead of the neck strap, I’ll be using a Gordy wrist strap.

Battery. The battery is an NB-10L instead of the NB-7L used in the G12.

Flash. The internal flash will not pop up automatically (page 22); instead, a message appears on the display screen to “Raise the flash”. It seems that the picture will still be taken (without flash) if the flash is not raised. Push the flash back into the camera body before shooting movies.

Software. I don’t use the included ZoomBrowser or Digital Photo Professional software so won’t have comments on those instructions. In the past, there have been problems when downloading images from the G9 or G12 (especially when shooting RAW+JPEG) so I always download images by inserting the memory card into the computer or a card reader.

Movie recording time. Similar to other PowerShots and Canon DSLRs, continuous recording time is limited to 30 minutes. This limitation is widely said to be a result of European taxes on high resolution video cameras.

Macro focus. The quoted 20cm minimum focus distance is at wide angle; at full telephoto minimum macro focus distance is 85cm. Without macro setting, the minimum focus distance at full telephoto is 130cm using auto focus but is 85cm in manual focus. It appears that the “macro” setting is not a lens shift but is a change in the auto focus algorithm.

Shooting speed. The quoted 4.5 frames per second is really only available in the burst mode; in Program mode, the maximum is 1.9 frames per second.

Shutter button. Everyone, please notice the “half-press” technique for the shutter button on page 41. It’s the same as the G12 but surprisingly few people know about this very useful and recommended technique.

Mode Dial. Shooting modes C2, C1, M, Av, Tv, P and Auto are located as expected on the Mode Dial. After Auto, the G1X has SCN (Scenes), Creative Filters, and Movie instead of the Low Light, Quick Shot, SCN, and Movie of the G12.

Image stabilization. There are six image stabilization icons displayed to indicate the type of stabilization that is automatically applied if IS Mode is turned ON in the main menu.

Self-timer. The self-timer control has moved from the Control Dial (G12) to  the Function Settings. A delay up to 30 seconds can be programmed and up to 10 still shots can be taken. The self-timer also works with movies.

Compression ratios. Contrary to some rumors and wishes, according to the instruction manual, there are only two compression ratios used for JPEG images: Fine and Normal. (Some older Canon cameras also had a “Superfine” compression ratio. I know the Superfine files contain more detail but, in practice, I’ve not be able to discern much difference between Superfine and Fine. Superfine files were notably larger than Fine files.)

Multi-area White Balance. The main menu includes an option to automatically detect and correct the white balance of areas partially lit by mercury lamps. Although this feature was advertised as “Multi-area White Balance”, in the menu, the option shows up as “Hg Lamp Corr” (page 63).

Movie image. One of the selling points for the G1X is the ability to film full HD movies (1920x1080 @ 24 fps). This option is selected from the Function Settings. Other options are 1280x720@30fps and 640x480@30fps.

(Notes from the instruction manual will continue …)

1 comment:

Juha Haataja said...

I look forward to hearing from your experiences!

Even though the G1 X is not really suited for me, it is a really, really interesting concept - I hope there will be many more cameras following suit.